I first heard about Michael Brown’s shooting when the nation’s collective response was just a peep. Over the next few days, hour by hour, news of the tragedy spread, inciting backlash and protests around the world and sparking crucial debates about race relations, police brutality, and all those other little issues we usually fancy ourselves to have a pretty good grip on in the U.S. (spoiler alert: we don’t).
As a Ferguson myself, I’m not going to pretend that my own connection to the incident didn’t cross my mind.
“Just you wait,” I told my sister as the protests started to unfold. “Our last name is going to become shorthand for racist police brutality, just like ‘Columbine’ is for school shootings.”
Within minutes, #ferguson started trending on Twitter. Dammit.
It really was the tragic cherry on top of a tragic summer, wasn’t it? Israel and Palestine seemed to be at their most contentious, Vladimir Putin was kinda-sorta-maybe working on World War III (did we ever really figure that one out?), unaccompanied children poured through our borders seeking refuge from violence at home.
And that was only the beginning. As the months wore on, the Obama administration toyed with a return to war in the Middle East (if we ever even left in the first place) and conflict raged on in Syria. To add insult to injury, Robin Williams’ mid-August suicide was probably the closest we could ever come to the literal death of laughter. It’s been a rough one.
In times like these, the media should provide solace and clarity—not frustration. That’s why this year, The Spectator is focusing in on accuracy, thoroughness, and training. We’re adding local, national and international news updates to our website to keep you in the know. And while we’ll never shy away from the tough stuff, we promise to keep the good news coming also. Someone has to.
In the meantime, there’s no better chaser for a glum summer than an unforgettable fall. Our pull-out map of all our favorite Capitol Hill haunts (pg. 11) is a great place to start.
Whether you’re a new student or a returner, welcome home. Here’s to a year of good grades, good vibes, and—at long last—good news.